Man confesses to part in hauling drugs from Baytown to Beaumont and beyond

Jose Antonio Quiroga, Baytown Police Department

Baytown’s Jose Quiroga, 42, pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations that allege he conspired to bring drugs to Beaumont and neighboring states on Tuesday, June 12, according to information from the office of U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.

Information presented in court and provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office showed that Quiroga served as a narcotics and bulk currency courier for a drug trafficking organization led by Eugenio Cerda. 

“This organization was responsible for trafficking cocaine and fentanyl from the Houston area to Beaumont and further east into Louisiana and Mississippi,” according to an information release from the Eastern District of Texas. “On June 17, 2017, Quiroga was stopped by law enforcement officers in Beaumont driving a truck registered to Cerda. Agents discovered $51,040 cash, which was the proceeds of a two-kilogram cocaine delivery, concealed in a hidden compartment of the truck’s tailgate.

“Further investigation revealed Quiroga distributed approximately nine kilograms of cocaine for Cerda.”

Quiroga was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 10. Six months later, Quiroga pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to money launder before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin. A sentencing date has not been set but will be held after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office. Under federal statutes, Quiroga faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as a joint investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, weapons trafficking offenders, money laundering organizations, and those individuals responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.